The Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution, PHED, Plc has raised the alarm over the assault on its workers by armed policemen attached to a popular politician and a bakery owner in Calabar, Cross River State, over unpaid electricity bills.
PHED which said it has petitioned the state police commissioner over the attack lamented that the politician (name withheld) whose bakery facility is indebted to PHED, ordered his police security guards to beat up the PHED staff for attempting to disconnect his facility.
A statement by PHED’s Head, Corporate Communications, John Anonyai, said the affected staff, including a female staff and a serving Youth Corps member with PHED, were attacked by the bakery facility owner’s security personnel while on official duty at his premises in Calabar where his bakery is located to ascertain whether they are truly indebted to PHED or not.
According to the statement, “video footage captured the policemen whose identities are yet to be confirmed flogging and molesting the PHED staff on the orders of their principal.
“The MD/CEO of PHED, Dr Henry Ajagbawa has decried the latest assault on the staff of the company, informing that the company has petitioned the Commissioner of Police in the state and averred that he will take every step necessary to ensure that justice is served the politician and his Bakery facility, insisting that every naira owned the company will be paid or the property will remain disconnected.
“The bakery owner’s resort to intimidation and assault rather than settling his bills has been totally condemned by the public. Nigerians in their numbers have condemned the barbaric conduct of the policemen and their principal for refusing to pay for the services already consumed by his company.
“We are baffled the bakery owner thinks his barbaric act will prevent him from paying the debt he owes the company. Regrettably, this uncivilized, uncultured, and shameful behaviour of bakery owner, cum politician and some of our security personnel is becoming increasingly rampant. PHED will no longer condone or sweep under the carpet such barbaric acts meted on her staff. PHED will go to all lengths within the ambit of the law to bring the culprits to books.
“In recent times, there have been an increasing number of assaults from security agents, one begins to question their intention and wonders if these saboteurs understand that their actions frustrate the efforts being made by the federal government and other stakeholders in the electricity industry to improve power supply in the country.
“Sadly, some supposedly well-placed Nigerians like the bakery owner and his cohorts are invariably fighting, frustrating, and sabotaging the efforts of the distribution companies and the federal government to stabilize the power sector. Recall that in March this year, a high-ranking officer assaulted the company’s Regional Head in Calabar for no logical reason other than abuse of power.”